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First Take Blasted For Arch Manning Segment

First Take took on the topic of whether or not Arch Manning will surpass his famous uncles and grandfather as the best QB in the family.

MIchael Quirk

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The days sandwiched between the end of the NBA season and the beginning of the NFL season are the dog days of sports reporting. It’s a time when networks and publications latch on to the NBA Draft and free agency period, the MLB trade deadline, NFL camps, and really anything that can get a reporter through the day. First Take is never one to miss an opportunity to start the silly season early, and Tuesday was no exception as they discussed the topic “Will Arch Manning surpass Peyton, Eli & Archie to become the greatest Manning yet?”

If you are keeping score at home, or at a specific family reunion near New Orleans, let’s take a quick look at the credentials. Peyton Manning is a two-time Super Bowl champion and one of the top 5-10 quarterbacks to ever play the game. Eli Manning is also a two-time Super Bowl champion whose legendary playoff runs are cemented in NFL lore. Archie Manning is the patriarch who architected the familial football dynasty and was a dynamic signal-caller in his own right relegated to what was at the time considered football purgatory in the Bayou. Arch Manning, however, just wrapped up his sophomore year in high school.

“Peyton Manning was like the most excellent player who ever lived until it mattered most and then Eli was the best,” Max Kellerman lobbied while breaking down Peyton, Eli, and Archie’s attributes. “He may have all of that in him. He doesn’t have to be the best at each category, just mix it all up in there.”

It is a topic that did not go unnoticed by the sports media. Many writers and talking heads had the same conclusion: it is nuts to be talking about this right now.

For context, Arch is by all accounts an elite prospect at this point in his high school career. He’s had eyes on him since middle school due to his highly-publicized surname, with his Isadore Newman football games broadcast on the ESPN family of networks in recent years. He is the No. 4 overall player in the country by the 247Sports composite for the 2023 class, including the No. 1 quarterback in the class. While his recruitment is being played close to the chest, the options he is reportedly considering at this early stage are Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, SMU, and Texas along with his mother’s alma mater in Virginia, and his father, uncle, and grandparents’ alma mater in Ole Miss.

The recruiting machine and the content machine are two that seemingly are never-ending. Though, contemplating whether or not a kid who has yet to attend his junior prom is destined for greatness surpassing his legendary family members seems like at least one of those machines may have a loose cog in it.

Sports TV News

Fox Officially Unveils NFL Broadcast Teams

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In what has been considered a formality for some time, Fox today officially unveiled Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen, Erin Andrews, and Tom Rinaldi as their number one NFL broadcast team Monday. Burkhardt and Olsen were elevated to Fox’s top booth after the departure of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman to ESPN’s Monday Night Football earlier this year.

There were some reports that Drew Brees could have been a possibility to join the network, but those discussions fell apart.

The network’s other teams include several familiar faces to football fans:

#2 team: Joe Davis, Daryl “Moose” Johnston, Pam Oliver
#3 team: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth, Kristina Pink
#4 team: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma, Shannon Spake
#5 team: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez, Laura Okmin
#6 team: Chris Myers, Robert Smith, Jen Hale

Olsen’s jump to the number one team with Burkhardt is a formality until the retirement of Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady. The seven-time Super Bowl winner will ascend to Fox’s number one booth upon his retirement, whenever that may be.

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Ryan Clark, Mad Dog Get Into Heated Argument on ‘First Take’

“Mad Dog, stop screaming at me now, bro. For the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me,” Clark interrupted.

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Former Pittsburgh Steeler, and current ESPN NFL analyst Ryan Clark and recent Radio Hall of Fame inductee Chris “Mad Dog” Russo squared off on Monday’s edition of First Take, with a heated exchange taking place between the two.

After a discussion about Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas meandered into a discussion about whether Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp would be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame if he never played another game, Clark said about Hall of Fame voters “they must be voting like you (Russo) vote for the Heisman, where you just vote on whoever the hell you want based off the fact that they play quarterback”.

Russo quickly took exception to the perceived slight.

“Ryan, hold on now,” Russo said, in a louder manner than normal. “You said something, now I’m going to comment. I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born.”

“Mad Dog, stop screaming at me now, bro. For the last time, you’re gonna stop screaming at me,” Clark interrupted.

“You said something that wasn’t right,” Russo said.

“Lower your voice,” the former Steeler interrupted again.

“I’ve been voting for the Heisman since before you were born,” Mad Dog reiterated, with a lower volume. “30 years.”

“I don’t care about that,” Clark rebutted.

“You’re saying I’m voting for the Heisman and saying I don’t deserve a vote. I’ve been voting for 30 years!”, Russo began to raise his voice again.

“I never said you don’t deserve a vote,” Clark replied before clarifying he disagrees with Russo’s sentiment about the college football award being only awarded to quarterbacks.

It’s not the first time Russo has clashed with First Take contributors. A discussion with J.J. Reddick went viral earlier this year after Reddick told Russo previous NBA players played with “plumbers and firefighters”.

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Todd Frazier Joining ESPN Little League World Series Booth

It will be a memorable summer for Fraizer at the LLWS because he will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. 

Ricky Keeler

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When people talk about 11-year MLB veteran Todd Frazier, some of the things that are usually mentioned on broadcasts usually is that he is from Toms River, New Jersey and that he played in the Little League World Series in 1998 (won the championship). Now, Frazier will have a bigger connection to the annual event in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

As first reported by Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati EnquirerFrazier will be in the TV booth (remotely) for ESPN for this year’s Little League World Series. He made his broadcast debut on Monday morning during one of the New England region semifinals between Maine and Massachusetts. 

Frazier told Nightengale that he wants to use this event to begin his second career in the broadcasting industry.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, especially for the Little League World Series since I’ve been a part of it. I know it and understand it really well. Kind of kickstart my second career here.” 

It will be a memorable summer for Fraizer at the LLWS because he will be inducted into the Little League Hall of Excellence. 

The Little League World Series begins on Wednesday, August 17 and ends on Sunday, August 28. It will be broadcasted on ESPN and ABC.  

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